Growing sabzeh, an eco-friendly tradition or not

March 7, 2018 - 19:38

TEHRAN -- Sabzeh, as one of the items of Haft Seen, an arrangement of seven symbolic items traditionally displayed at the Iranian celebration of the New Year, Noruz, is a symbol of livelihood.

Iranians grow wheat, barley, mung bean or lentil sprouts in a dish and put it on Haft Seen.

However, during recent years some environmentalists suggest growing citrus seed instead of wheat, barley and mung bean, in order not to waste water and grain.

According to traditions, many people throw their sabzeh in rivers and running water on the thirteenth day of first month on Iranian calendar, Farvardin, Sizdah Be-dar, during which people spend time picnicking outdoors.

Many people tried growing citrus seeds, which leads to a fragrant green bunch but many others still grow sabzeh for their Haft Seen.

In an interview with the Persian service of ISNA, environmentalist Mitra Alborzimanesh challenged the idea saying that growing sabzeh does not have any contradiction with environment.

“Growing sabzeh is considered as an environmental activity,” she said.
Transplanting citrus seeds to earth on Sizdah Be-dar is a good idea but it is not a professional suggestion, she added.

“These seeds do not grow in all climates and besides Sizdah Be-dar is not an appropriate time for planting saplings,” she explained.

She also praised the idea of throwing sabzeh into water saying that it grows in the water and is a good food for birds and fish.

“Growing sabzeh is an educational project for our kids to know and care more about nature,” she explained.

“High amount of stale bread is discarded in our country and we can save our grains by managing our waste,” she explained.

Planting tree while growing Sabzeh or not?

Recently Tehran Mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi has called on Tehrani citizens to plant a tree while they are growing sabzeh for their Haft Seen.

He said that Tehraners who don’t have yard to transplant the tree can transfer their plant to 12 hectare greenbelt, which was established by the Tehran Municipality and will be inaugurated in coming days.

However, Omid Nouri, Professor in urban & environmental horticulture, does not agree with this idea.

“At first, each region in Tehran has its own ecological condition hence specific plant species can grow in that area and it is not suitable for all plants,” he told ISNA news agency.

“Planting saplings without any studies wastes resources and has environmental harms for Tehran,” he added.

He proposed that Tehran Municipality provide some specific saplings and ask citizens to plant them instead.


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